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More than any other tool, the brush is a direct and fluid extension of the artist’s hand, eye and expressive vision.  With this principle in mind, Winsor & Newton have crafted fine artists’ brushes for over 150 years, earning a reputation for making the world’s finest brushes from the very best raw materials.

Choosing the right brush is important and at Winsor & Newton, they offer a wide range of brushes to meet the demands of discriminating artists the world over.  The best quality artists’ brushes are still made by hand at their specialist brush making factory in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Most artists’ brushes are made with natural bristle, natural hair, or synthetic fibres intended to simulate the working characteristics of the first two.  Bristle and natural hair are similar in many respects but have two major differences:  natural hair has a single, individual point, while bristle has a number  of natural tips called “flags”.  Bristle is less flexible but more durable.  These characteristics make bristle brushes particularly suited to oil painting;  they wear well when used on the comparatively coarse grounds commonly used for oil painting and the “flags” hold considerable quantities of colour.

The ferrules on an artists’ brush should be strong, corrosion resistant and seamless.  Consistency is important because the size of the brush head is determined by the diameter of the ferrule at the point hair emerges.

The perfect brush handle is a mixture of weight, shape, balance and comfort, all of which vary according to the size and function of the brush.  Winsor & Newton brush handles are designed with these requirements in mind and are manufactured to the highest standards using seasoned hardwood.

Good, well-kept brushes will have a much longer life and be far more pleasant to work with if the following very simple rules are followed:

• Always clean brushes immediately after use
• Never leave brushes resting on the bristles or hairs
• Shape the hairs after cleaning.

If storing brushes for any length of time, make sure they are clean and perfectly dry before putting them away in a box with a tight fitting lid.  Mothballs or naphthalene may be used as a moth deterrent, but neither should be relied upon as a sure preventative.

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